Monday, October 15, 2012

The X Factor (UK) Live Show #2

Hello darlings!

I know this is primarily a nail polish/beauty/fashion blog with some occasional ramblings thrown in for good measure. But as I was sitting down to add The X Factor onto my Things I Am Currently Obsessed With post, I decided I should really give it its own post. Because I knew I was about to start rambling.

I love the UK version of the X Factor. I kept up with series 7 and 8 though I'm apparently bad at picking winners. I rooted for Rebecca Ferguson and Marcus Collins. I basically keep up with the show as much as I can. Since Freemantle is blocking the videos on the channels I used to watch, I can no longer watch the intros to the performances or the joy and silliness that is the Xtra Factor. But I still watch all of the performances and the judges comments through the X Factor's official youtube page.

I always tweet my thoughts on Saturday and Sunday. My twitter handle is aradia18. If you ever want to talk about The X Factor, we totally can. I haven't decided if I want to do weekly posts or not but you could start a discussion on a nail polish review. I wouldn't mind. :)

I think the best way to go about this is to just do a rundown of the performances...

Jahmene Douglas
Jahmene reminds me of Rebecca Ferguson. When he sings you are just rooting for him to succeed. I thought he started off a bit awkward at first. The vocals were a little off. If it was intentional, it didn't sound like he was purposely changing the phrasing. And then was still some uncertainty in his expression. But then he found his way and got into it and I don't know how anyone could not enjoy that and start smiling. He sang the heck out of that song.

Christopher Maloney
His voice is cheesy. It's good. But it sounds very old-fashioned and it is very particular. I'm not sure if he's flexible as an artist. While I think the vocals were good, Gary chose a terrible song for him. He didn't sing it as a rock song. He tried. But it ended up sounding dated. I actually liked his bit in the group performance better than his solo performance. It made me think that with the right song, he could actually sound current. Also, the staging was just weird. It made no sense. I don't know what Gary is doing.

Union J
So good. I'm not a big fan of boy bands. They were such a typical boy band. But I loved it. I think it worked because they embraced being a boy band, but it felt triumphant, like a group that had been together for years that was playing a big arena. Actually, now that I think about it, it could have been their performance as the winners of X Factor. The outfits, the staging, the song choice. It didn't push any boundaries but it was well thought out. It felt like the decisions a successful group would make about their staging, song choice, and outfits. It doesn't hurt that they're good singers and quite adorable (if a bit feminine). I hope Louis continues to give them songs and arrangements that allow their singing ability to shine through. This is a not a group where you need to hide the vocals with the backing track. They can really sing.

Ella Henderson
This was a wow performance. I love how fearless she is. When I first read the video title, I thought it had to be a mistake or that I was thinking of a different song. But no, she went for it. I love a female vocalist who can do both belting/growling and high notes. As with her other performances, there were some problems. I find that her voice cracks quite a bit. She navigates the break between her lower and higher register kind of awkwardly. She's sings a bit breathier than I like sometimes. But those high notes. Props. I do agree with Louis that right now she styles herself like she wants to be Adele (though she also reminded me a bit of Barbra Streisand as well) but if it makes her happy, why not let her keep doing it?

James Arthur
The magic of James is his rawness and emotion. I do think he could stand to work on his diction a little bit. And I felt like he wasn't pushing 100% and really giving all the notes their due. When your singing is motivated by pure emotion, you're going to lose some of the technical aspects. But I do kind of wish he could do both or balance it a little more. Also, I am a little worried it could become a little repetitive.

Lucy Spraggan
Magic. Pure magic. I think everyone was a little scared about her doing a cover instead of an original seeing how it has gone in the past. And personally, I love to see a successful gender switch with a song. I like that she embraces her sexuality but doesn't make a big deal out of it. At first I was into the Kate Nash vibe but now I'm just enjoying Lucy as Lucy. She's brilliant. I'm not sure if she has the right vibe for a winner but I think she has great potential for a successful career post X Factor regardless.

I do not like District3. I've never been all that impressed with them. And then I saw them as pushing (then) Triple J and Times Red out of the competition. I'm not that in love with their harmonies and their general vibe. They're too nice for me. I don't think they have enough soul. The lead singer has this oddness to his voice that I found interesting from the audition but it was odd in the way you're not certain if you like something or not. It wasn't a Rebecca Ferguson kind of oddness where you know there's something special there. I thought the performance was boring and way overdone with the spinning and the confetti. But I actually liked their vocals the best out of all of their previous performances. They were definitely off during their last chance performance though.

Jade Ellis
I loved Jade's transformation this week. The reason I didn't love the performance was that I felt that the transformation wasn't complete yet. Every week I like her more and I think she gets closer to finding her perfect style but she's not there. The performance was just a bit too slow and the piano was a bit too depressing. When Amy sings this song, there's a casualness and a lightness that keeps it from getting too heavy. There's a contrast between the beautiful vocals and the message. And you've got a beat. I'm starting to really become a fan of Jade though.

I thought the song choice was really cute. Though I didn't think it was as balanced as it could have been. At first I thought Charlie was just going to sing and Sim would just speak/shout his verses back. It took too long for the rap section to kick in and then it disappeared too quickly. They just need to find a better balance. Otherwise, I think it was fine that they chose a peppy sort of uptempo song. Urban doesn't need to mean aggressive and not every song on someone's album is meaningful social commentary laden with pathos. It annoys me to no end when people use "Glee" as an insult. That is all I'm going to say on the matter.

Kye Sones
I wasn't sold on Kye in the beginning. I came around during Bootcamp and Judges' Houses. Now, I've kind of lost interest again. First of all, I think Gary is doing a horrible job with his acts. The song was a bad choice and the staging was weak. It just looked like a coffee shop singer standing inside a giant bunsen burner. I happen to really love "Love The Way You Lie". I think Rihanna and Eminem are really giving it their all and they both understand the emotion they need to put into the song. Kye did not. Guy-liner does not equal edginess. I also felt like he just wasn't pushing that hard vocally. He was not singing out and even though he managed to hit those high notes it still felt weak. Even the Dido part felt weak. There was no magic in it.

Rylan Clark
I have no illusions about Rylan. I know he's not the best singer. But I think he's really charming and fun and he's clearly trying. His staging and choreography is more complex than most of the other contestants and he does it well. He's certainly not Katie Waissel or Wagner. I think there's a good voice somewhere in there but he can't sustain it for a whole song. His voice slips in and out of this ugly, raspy place. But it can also sound really lovely like when he sang "up" in "I guess now it's time, for me to give up." I wonder if he has vocal damage or something. I think if he works on his diction and breath control he could be a decent singer. I don't think anyone expects him to win but I like having him around. His performance was so random. It was as if someone had challenged him to be as camp as possible. And he accepted that challenge. I did agree with Gary that the best part of the song vocally was the very beginning. I wonder how Rylan would do if he fully committed to a ballad. Luckily I think next week is club classics or something like that.

Melanie Masson
When I first saw Melanie I was happy that Gary hadn't dressed her like a flower child again. Last week, her vocals were good but the song choice, outfit, and staging were way too literal. But this song, arrangement, and staging...SO old-fashioned. So sleepy. Despite the dancers in silhouette it didn't feel sultry and sexy. It just felt dated. And that outfit was not helping things. Her vocals were amazing but there's not much she could do with that song to make the essential melody any more dynamic. Like Christopher, I liked her portion in the group number better than I liked her performance. I think Gary should have given her a more interesting song instead of going with such a safe song choice. Sad to see her go but I don't think Gary knew what to do with her. Hopefully she gets a record deal and this isn't the last we'll see of her.

Overall Ranking For This Week (in my opinion)
1. Lucy Spraggan
2. Union J
3. Ella Henderson
4. Jahmene Douglas
5. Jade Ellis
6. Christopher Maloney
7. James Arthur
8. MK1
9. District3
10. Melanie Masson
11. Rylan Clark
12. Kye Sones

No comments:

Post a Comment